Farage's newly branded Reform UK party has called on the government to offer a 30% reduction for students this academic year.
Nigel Farage’s new party, Reform UK, has branded this academic year a “rip off” and becomes the first political party to advocate a partial refund for students who have been kept under “house arrest” as a result of teaching moving online and Covid-19 restrictions inhibiting socialising.
The “Stop the Student Rip-off” campaign, which is led by party chairmen Richard Tice, is calling on the government for a 30% refund on tuition fees as well as more robust mental health provision to be put in place to combat the devastating effects of lockdown.
Richard Tice, former MEP and chairman of Reform UK told The Telegraph: “It is a travesty that university authorities continue to ask students to pay £9,000 a year for a service they are not providing. Students did not sign up for a virtual education. They are paying for full-time courses to be conducted face-to-face using physical spaces. Thousands of them have also signed expensive, long-term rental agreements fully expecting to be required to attend lectures, seminars and tutorials in person."
The 30% figure that has been proposed by Reform UK would bring the £9,250 University fees, paid by English, Welsh and Northern Irish students at the University of Glasgow, in line with the Open University's fees, which charge up to £6,192 per annum, for remote learning degrees for English students.
Speaking to his followers on Twitter, Nigel Farage said it was the “least we can do for the students that have been conned … it is a modest offering for the level of suffering”.
In an official statement by the Department of Education, a spokesman said: “Universities are responsible for their fees, but the government has been clear if universities want to continue charging the maximum amount permitted, they are expected to maintain quality and academic standards and the quantity of tuition should not drop.”